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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gardening: Wonderberries (aka Sunberries)

Wonderberries. They are also called garden huckleberries & sunberries. They are a small shrub and not as picky as tomatoes. Gotta remember to NOT eat the green berries (possibly poisonous!). Eat when blue - cook with sugar like in a pie. Here's a good reference:

We'd gotten the seeds from Baker Heirloom ( I'd planted the seeds in a cup, and when they got about 2 inches tall, transplanted into a planter and placed outside near our strawberries. I hate to say this, but except for watering (sprinkler), I forgot about them. It grew into a very small bush, about a foot high. When it got cold and we started bringing in the plants (October), we brought that in. As we were figuring out where to place it, Hubby noticed the bush had a lot of dark blue berries on it! Guess we missed the unripe/green stage. We were quite brave, and each tasted one. Yum! They are quite sweet, like a blueberry, but much smaller. They have a good Winter home in our family room, under the grow light, with the tomatoes, banana tree, and blueberry bushes.

We can't find any nutrition data on them, but we're somewhat confident they are similar to other berries in nutrition, antioxidants, probably vitamin C. Now that we've experimented with the seeds, and like the taste, we plan to have a LOT of wonderberry bushes next year. Planning on a huge crop of these okay-to-ignore berry bushes.

We have only the one plant this year so no experimenting with processing and preserving, but next year, we'll try to dehydrate, make jam, and freeze. Anyone have experience and/or knowledge of wonderberries?


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